I’m not a good friend. I want to be and I wish I could be. Some days I am able to make more of an effort than others, but most of the time, I just can’t seem to put the mask on and set aside what is going on in my life enough to really give my attention to invest in the friendships.
I’m sure there are many who see this as me being selfish, uncaring, egocentric and lazy.
My reality is that I’m buried underneath layers of pain (physical and psychological), fatigue (physical and mental), and everything I do and all my direct interactions with other people requires almost constant effort to restrain and retrain emotional and mental impulses while filtering through the sensory distortions of sight, sound, smell, and touch that distract and detract my concentration and focus.
Add into the mix the fact that I am working through some extremely complicated and complex relationship issues with key people in my life while trying to field off creditors and attend to the needs of a bright, energetic, and active pre-schooler. At the end of that equation what’s left is a big, fat, zero. As in I have nothing left to give.
So, there are some very dear friends who are going through their own versions of what I described above, and I can only offer the sporadic and occasional private message, comment on a status update, or brief and interrupted phone call. There are those who have gone above and beyond and would go to the ends of the earth for me who needed me to be that kind of friend for them and I wasn’t able to do it.
The thing is, I do care about and do appreciate those who have invested their friendship in me. The problem is that I am not able to live up to my expectations of what it means to be a friend, the majority of the time. I don’t expect or want my friends to sacrifice themselves and their lives for me, especially if they expect that of me. I can offer a responsive ear if they reach out. I can offer acceptance of who they are and the choices they make. Hopefully, I can offer a little space of peace and serenity without judgment or too much unsolicited advice. I can offer a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes I can offer these things. Occasionally I can reach out and make myself available, often I just don’t have anything left to offer.
After decades of being the hot mess who relied on everyone else to fix and suffer for her mistakes and being the psychic and emotional vampire who unconsciously sucked everyone else dry, I am doing my best to not be that person anymore. What this means is I have to be careful not to overextend and drain myself to the point that others have to keep rescuing me. So, until I have grown and learned other ways to get what I need to be the mother, wife, and self-sustainer to live my life, my ability to be the kind of friend some others may need and expect me to be does not exist.
I was feeling guilty about this. However, I now realize that I can’t give away what I don’t have. So, if you consider me a friend you will have to find a way to forgive me for not being who and what you want me to be and figure out how to accept me as I am. Otherwise, choose what’s best for you and walk away. I will be saddened and grieve the loss, but I understand.